Michael Kane

Assistant Professor,  Civil and Environmental Engineering


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  • 617.373.7193

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Research Focus

Occupant-centric building controls, community resilience, model predictive control, hybrid systems


Michael Kane is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University where his research and teaching focus on automation in the built environment and how people interact with automated systems. Prior to joining Northeastern, he served as a Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) where he identified new technology development opportunities for control of civil energy infrastructure, primarily in the areas of transportation, buildings, and distributed energy resources. In 2014, he finished a PhD at the University of Michigan where he pursued novel ways of embedding computational intelligence into civil systems in the Laboratory for Intelligent Systems and Technology (LIST).


  • PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, 2014
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2011
  • MS, Civil Engineering, Drexel University, 2009
  • BS, Architectural Engineering, Drexel University, 2009

Honors & Awards

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Research Overview

Occupant-centric building controls, community resilience, model predictive control, hybrid systems

Selected Research Projects

College Research Initiatives

Selected Publications

  • T. Abuimara, B.W. Hobson, H.B. Gunay, W. O’Brien, M.B. Kane, Current state and future challenges in building management: practitioner interviews and a literature review, Journal of Building Engineering, 2021.
  • Z. Afroz, B.W. Hobson, H.B. Gunay, W. O’Brien, M.B. Kane, How Occupants Affect Building Operators’ Decision-Making, ASHRAE Journal, 62(11), 2020
  • M. Schweiker, E. Ampatzi, M.S. Andargie, R.K. Andersen, E. Azar, V.M. Barthelmes, C. Berger, A. Jamrozik, M.B. Kane, et al., Review of Multi‐Domain Approaches to Indoor Environmental Perception and Behaviour, Building and Environment, 176, 2020, 106804
  • M.B. Kane, J.P. Lynch, J. Scruggs, Run-Time Efficiency of Bilinear Model Predictive Control Using Variational Methods, With Applications to Hydronic Cooling, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 24(2), 2019, 718-728
  • M.B. Kane, L.P. Jerome, J. Scruggs, Development of a Scalable Distributed Model Predictive Control System for Hydronic Networks with Bilinear and Hybrid Dynamics, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 32(5), 2018, 0401803
reflection of a robot on computer screen

Student Groups

Aug 20, 2021

NU Team PARIS Wins in Phase 1 of American-Made E-ROBOT Prize

A Northeastern faculty and student team was awarded a $200K prize as a finalist for Phase 1 of the U.S. Department of Energy’s American-Made Challenges E-ROBOT Prize. In Phase 2, up to four teams (from the 10 finalists) will receive a $500K award. The team’s submission proposed development of a Precise Air-sealing Robot for Inaccessible Spaces (PARIS). The Northeastern team is advised by ECE Associate Professor Taskin Padir, CEE Assistant Professor Michael Kane, and ECE Distinguished Professor Carey Rappaport.

Michael Kane


Mar 15, 2021

NSF CAREER Award for Smart Thermostats for Energy Management and Occupant Comfort

Assistant Professor Michael Kane, civil and environmental engineering, was awarded a $763K NSF CAREER Award for “Human-Centric Automation in the Built Environment.” The project will enable the design of automation in the built environment that models human physiological and behavioral responses to changing environmental temperature conditions to satisfy competing objectives of energy management and occupant […]

illustration of mobile phone with covid on screen, faucet with covid in water, and covid in transportation as illustrated by railroad crossing sign


Sep 21, 2020

Civil and Environmental Engineering Solutions to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and its Industrial Advisory Board held a series of panel discussions entitled “Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) solutions addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

Michael KaneI, David Fannon, and Misha Pavel


Apr 28, 2020

Kane Receives $2.2M Department of Energy Grant for Flexible Building Technologies

The US Department of Energy awarded CEE Assistant Professor Michael Kane (PI), CAMD/CEE Assistant Professor David Fannon, and ECE affiliated faculty Misha Pavel $2.2M to create an open dataset characterizing occupant-centric control of grid-interactive efficient buildings.


Apr 11, 2020

FY21 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 19 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY21 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 13 different projects.

PhD student shows framed award and shaking hand of professor


Dec 03, 2019

Poulin and Kane Awarded Best Paper at Resilience Week 2019

Interdisciplinary Engineering PhD candidate Craig Poulin and CEE Assistant Professor Michael Kane were awarded “Best Community R&D Paper” at Resilience Week 2019 for their paper “Identifying Heterogeneous Infrastructure Interdependencies through Multiverse Simulation.”

Portraits of Ergun & Kane


Sep 03, 2019

Ergun and Kane to Work on $1.2M NSF Grant for Algorithmic Workplace

Law Associate Professor Hilary Robinson, MIE Professor Ozlem Ergun, CEE Assistant Professor Michael Kane, CSSH Professor Steven Vallas, and Juliet Schor from Boston College were awarded a $1.2M NSF grant for creating an “Understanding the Algorithmic Workplace: A Multi-Method Study for Comprehensive Optimization of Platforms”.


Apr 05, 2019

Congratulations RISE:2019 Winners

Congratulations to our engineering students who won awards at the RISE:2019 Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo!


Jan 20, 2017

New Faculty Spotlight: Michael Kane

Michael Kane joins the Civl & Environmental Engineering department in January 2017 as an Assistant Professor.

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